Should Priests Speak About Party Politics? by John Clark

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Piero di Cosimo (1462-1522), “Crucifixion of Christ”

In a nation flooded with partisan politics, the Kingship of Jesus Christ is the surest high ground.

By John Clark, EWTN News, 1/14/20 

Over the past few years, it seems that priests have become increasingly eager to comment on American politics. Through various means—homilies, discussions, columns, blogs, social media—priests are letting their thoughts and feelings be known. But the more I read and listen, the more I wonder if it’s time for priests to consider curbing their public discussion of American politics. I think this for several reasons, but two are especially important.

First, we Americans may not be sick of politics, but whether we realize it or not, we are sick with politics—and we need the help of priests to heal.

Referencing the Church in the 1980s, Peggy Noonan wrote, “The Catholic Church could not decide if its job was public policy or the redemption of souls, so it failed at both, offering pilgrims hungry for sustenance tepid homilies on defense spending.”

Forty years later, things are far worse. Politics and policy (of which seemingly everyone now considers himself a noted expert) is the consuming subject at children’s birthday parties, wedding receptions and New Year’s Eve countdowns. We’re drowning in politics. And being that the Catholic Church is the Ark of Salvation, the wise counsel of priests should provide us with the desperately-needed opportunity to dry out for a few moments. But when priests insist on politicking from the pulpit or delivering an endless barrage of political posts on their social media pages, our lungs just fill with water. ….

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